6/03/2008

Nest box: House Wrens

Many gardens in the U.S have House Wrens pleasantly signing away. These tiny but boisterous wonders of nature will take up residence is just about any nesting box.

You know those cute little nesting boxes shaped like cats….well House Wrens will gladly use those. House wrens are very aptly named because they like to nest near humans. If you hang a box or a cat shaped nesting cavity outside your front door you have a pretty good chance of attracting a House Wren. Another part of the nesting behavior of the House Wren is that they will build ‘fake’ nests in several cavities while using only one nest.

The easy way to tell if you have a House Wren nesting in your box is to look for sticks sticking out the front of the entrance. House Wrens place hundreds of small stick inside the box and they pretty much close off the entrance hole except for a small gap towards the top of the box. If you look inside you won’t be able to see the back of the box. This approach makes it very difficult for a predator to get to the babies who are housed right at the back of the box in a small cup. I bought a Walmart Wren box and modified it so I could open the back. What I saw amazed me. The whole box was filled with sticks and you couldn’t even see the eggs from the back.



Once I pulled back the sticks I found 7 eggs in a tiny little cup. The eggs are a pinkish white, with small spots or blotches of reddish brown. Most seasons my Wrens have at least 6 eggs and mostly it goes up to 8 and sometimes 9. I have 2 kids and I take my hat off to these little guys.


I popped back in to check on the Wrens yesterday and found tiny little babies in the box. I snapped a few quick photos and then left mom and dad to continue their feeding duties.


6/02/2008

Frisbee playing Indigo bunting


Not much birding going on this side of the world. I've been hectically busy with work. I was going birding this weekend but plans have changed and the whole gang is heading for the shore instead..... Should be great fun spending time with the ankle biters although very little birding will be done.
The little Indigo is still a regular. The weird thing about it is that I haven't seen the female at all. It's pretty strange that only he comes to the feeder isn't it? Is this a case of male chauvinism in the avian world?